The celebration of each and every festival with great faith and devotion has been a millennium old tradition in India. Every festival, either big or small, is associated with a special eventful history which makes it so special to remember and worth to celebrate it every year. India is also termed as land of farmers as it is having states like Punjab and Haryana, the wheat factories of the land.
After celebrating the festival of Lohri and Makar Sankranti, the farmers become busy, engaged in taking care of their tilled lands. These lands sparkle with pearls, rubies and diamonds of the blood and sweat of the hardworking farmers in the form of beautiful plants of wheat, laden with grains which will give satisfaction to the inhabitants.
The celebration of farmers begins with the arrival of Lohri and takes another flavor with the festival of Baisakhi.
Primarily considered as the festival of Hindus and Sikh, the festival of Baisakhi sprays the hues of happiness and prosperity in the lush green fields and martyrdom and patriotism in the hearts of Indians. This year, the festival of Baisakhi falls on April 14.
The celebration of this sacred festival is mainly linked with the people of Sikh community. It dates back to the year 1699, when the people of India were tormented by the tyranny of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
Since there was a huge massacre of the Brahmins and Hindus, they approached the ninth guru of the Sikh community, Guru Teg Bahadur for help and protection. There was a severe and fierce battle afterwards, in which he and his followers fought bravely, but they were defeated and were asked to accept Islam. On his refusal, he was publicly beheaded. After his martyrdom, he was succeeded by his disciple and the tenth guru, Guru Govind Singh.
On the auspicious day of Baisakhi, he publicly asked people-in-general to lay down their lives for Guru and Lord and five people came forward, who later came to be known as Panj Piaras. He declared them as the 5 founding members of the Khalsa Community and gave them the title of Singh. This day is celebrated as the founding day for the Khalsa community, the day on which Guru Gobind Singh invited the people to come forward and get baptized into Sikhism and raise their voice against the cruel Mughal Empire.
All these events happened on March 30, 1699, at the Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara, Anandpur and hence, this festival is celebrated there with huge pomp and show.
This festival holds a great significance for the Sikh community as the Tenth Guru Laid the foundation of the Khalsa Community on this sacred day. All over India, people dress nicely, visit Gurudwara and attend Kirtan Path and offer Prayers and Ardas for a happy and prosperous life.
At many places, there is an organisation of Nagar Kirtans and Sikh community processions, where people take part in masses. They walk in the cities, singing prayers from the Guru Granth Sahib to awaken people and ask them to be virtuous and faithful to god.
The festival of Baisakhi is also associated with various legends like:
- Day to Receive Guru’s Blessings for Sikhs
On this day, Guru Amar Das had first asked the people of Sikh community to gather at Goindwal to receive the guru’s blessings.
- Foundation of Arya Samaj
In 1875, Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj – a sect of Hindus who follow the Vedas for spiritual guidance.
- Attainment of Nirvana by Gautam Buddha
As per the legends, it was the day of Baisakhi when Gautam Buddha attained Nirvana under the Mahabodhi tree in the town of Gaya.
Science behind Baisakhi
The festival of Baisakhi is celebrated amongst farmers as the festival of harvest. The month of April is considered as the harvesting time for the Rabi Crops, the crops which are sown during winter seasons.
Since the photoperiod becomes larger, the short day plants start to flower and give fruits and grains, which are now ready to be harvested. Therefore, the farmers gear up in their fields and start harvesting the crops.
Puja Timings for Baisakhi
The puja for Baisakhi can be done throughout the day and, if possible, during the Abhijit Muhurtam prevailing from 11:56 AM to 12:46 PM on April 14, 2018.